England Driver's Licenses & crime ATTN: Brits

I need to verify if it’s true that if you do a crime in england that they write this on the back of your driver’s license. If so, what kind of crime qualifies? Is it still true today? thx.

Offences related to motor vehicles which command endorsements, commonly known as points, are recorded on your license. eg for speeding you may receive three points. I think twelve points leads to an automatic ban. The points are lost after a certain period of time which I think is three years, but i may be wrong. The only real effect these points have is to make it much more expensive to insure yourself. Of course the points are not the only penalty, you will receive a fine in addition to any endorsements.

Android209 is right about penalty points [insert obvious Man. Utd. joke here].

However, there is also a provision in the Crime (Sentences) Act 1997 which allows a court to impose a driving disqualification instead of, or as well as, another penalty (like a fine or a community service order) when somebody is convicted of a non-driving offence.

The full text of the Act can be found here. See sections 39 and 40.

Only driving crimes, eh? What about general crimes? Like domestic violence? Do those appear on them?

Another interesting thing about British driver’s liscences is that they don’t have any pictures on them. That surprised me when we saw our friends DL.

I’m always keen to help on English questions. However, this may be the time to reveal I don’t drive, so don’t even know what a driving license looks like.

I doubt that anything apart from driving offences are on it.

We have two major computer databases, the DVLC (errrr … Driver Vehicle Licensing Computer ??), based in Swansea, Wales, with all the driving registration stuff and the PNC (Police National Computer) with all the criminal records. No doubt they’re compatible, so the police can soon find out if you’re wanted for something.

Didn’t the Blues Brothers refer to a new police computer system?

hmmmm… no wonder my englishman didn’t bring his driver’s license with him… Next time we meet… I will have to check this out more thoroughly. I do believing frisking for the wallet will be the first order of business!

I really try to be good but it just isn’t in my nature!

It’s true that most people’s driving license will not have a photograph on it, although I believe they are phasing in driving licenses with picture and all. In addition of course, to aid in the Europeanisation of the UK, it will not be a British driving license, but a European driving license, complete with european flag…to my utter disgust, of course.

OK, I’ve checked with an English driver.

The latest licence (about 2 years old) DOES have a picture. My mate’s a teacher too, and he has to sign forms saying 18 year old pupils are who they say they are.

Yes, driving offences are listed on the back (both old + new licences).

DVLC = Driver + Vehicle Licensing Centre (it is in Swansea

The DL an English visitor showed us a few weeks ago during a visit was almost as big as a tablecloth, I reckon you could fit quite a few violations on the back. (Haha.) No picture if I recall correctly. He also showed us a great trick where you fold a 10 pound note (I think, the one with Dickens on the back) so the Queen looks like John McEnroe. Hilarity ensued!

“There’s a snake in my boot!”

Ban? I think you’ve been spending too much time on IRC.

I seem to recall that UK driving licences have had the EU flag on since at least the late-1980s and possibly earlier than that.

The photo driving licence which was introduced a few years ago will completely replace the old-style DL from the beginning of next year. The principal advantage is not that the new-style licence has a photo, but that it is the size of a credit card and therefore easier to carry in a wallet (unlike the old one which, as voguevixen correctly pointed out, was way too big to be carried conveniently).

We’re not required to carry our driving licences in the UK. If you’re pulled over by the police and you don’t have your DL and vehicle registration, they give you a document called a “producer” (that’s probably not the official name) which requires you to produce your documents at a local police station within 7 days.

So glee, if you wanted to check out the background of some Brit you wanted to work for you in the US, you could see the drivers license for driving stuff, but how on earth does one access the criminal computer to check that area?thx


the PNC is for the police themselves only.
You could:

  • ask a policeman to (illegally) check the PNC for you
  • ask for references from previous employers (of course they may come back bland)

When I applied to my school, they checked with the police that I was suitable to work with children.

I don’t really know a lot about this stuff, because I’m respectable (honest!). I know that most crimes are wiped from the record officially after some period (depending on the severity of the offence).

I can ask policeman or personnel friends of mine if you need more info…

In the bathtub of history, the truth is harder to hold than the soap… (Pratchett)